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Twitter Reacts to the BBC's New 'Anti-Woke' Comedy Show, 'Unsafe Space'

By Petr Navovy | Social Media | December 23, 2021 |

By Petr Navovy | Social Media | December 23, 2021 |


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Here we fu**ing go again I guess.

I never realised just how incredibly tiring it can be to have to be endlessly arguing about something that doesn’t exist. Thankfully, morons won’t shut up about ‘cancel culture’, so at least I’ve learned something.

The idea that there is a concerted effort by progressive minded (‘woke’—a word now so devoid of its original meaning and used as a proxy for other, very obvious things, by the right) people to shut down any discussion over things that they find unacceptable, and-crucially-that the power structures of society are set up in such a way so as to give progressives the power to actually meaningfully do any such thing, would be hilarious if the polar opposite wasn’t true. That’s not to say that instances of over-sensitivity and pious self-righteousness don’t exist among people who call themselves progressives. Of course they do. But to pretend that that is somehow a substantive issue and a ‘threat to free speech’ is an exercise in ridiculous disingenuousness. The vast majority of those who complain about ‘wokeness going too far’—the sister complaint of ‘cancel culture ruined everything’—are people who have zero interest in advancing any agenda other than that which causes a regression in our shared discourse and the erosion of rights that exploited groups have fought tooth and nail for. They have no interest in challenging real power.

Because the eternal irony here of course is the fact that a form of cancel culture does exist, except in the other direction. Whether it is Palestinian journalists being silenced when reporting on their systemic oppression, or employees being blacklisted for joining unions, or fossil fuel companies discrediting climate change research for decades, or indeed the entirety of a country’s establishment banding together to destroy a once in a lifetime chance of progressive electoral change, the examples of left-targeting cancel culture are too numerous to mention. ‘Cancel culture’ in that respect is just another term for ‘the powerful doing what they need to do in order to protect their advantage’.

Unsurprisingly, that’s not the cancel culture we hear about in the news when the protestations and the grievances come pouring forth from the wealthy, (often) white, (often) males so dreadfully impacted by something the all-powerful Progressive World Government has decreed. You see this a lot in politics, when, for example, calls for the recognition of trans peoples’ human rights are framed as examples of cancel culture, and you see it hell of a lot in comedy, when the same thing happens to pointing out that taking the piss out of traditionally vulnerable and exploited groups might not be the virtuous continuation of the best of comedy’s truth-telling heritage that those who take part in it would like to claim it as being.

It’s into this landscape that the BBC now rides, providing a vehicle for those heroes of free speech who have been battered into submission by wokeness and cancel culture:

BBC pilots 'anti-woke' comedy show | Unsafe Space 'brings diversity of opinion to Radio 4' https://t.co/rSVlG3Ebu0 pic.twitter.com/IZ4k91aPVa

— Chortle Comedy (@chortle) December 22, 2021
The BBC is piloting a new comedy show to combat the perception that all its comedians are from the ‘woke’ liberal left.

Unsafe Space will feature a number of comedians linked to the Comedy Unleashed ‘free-speech’ comedy nights and championed by pressure group The Campaign For Common Sense.

[…]

Unsafe Space is billed as ‘provocative, unorthodox stand-up comedy for the open-minded, bringing diversity of opinion to BBC Radio 4’ - suggesting the programme-makers don’t believe that currently exists.

The Campaign For Common Sense, which kicks back against transgender rights campaigners and believes Black Lives Matter is ‘divisive ideological nonsense’, listed Doyle, Kearse, Bourke and Dixon as ‘alternative comedians that could be booked’ by the BBC after it claimed bias in its output last year.

‘nuff said innit?

The BBC—rotten, incredibly transphobic, Tory-enabling—has form in this. Nevertheless, a few jaws dropped when the news of ‘Unsafe Space’ was announce, and Twitter reacted accordingly.




Header Image Source: Michael Schwartz/WireImage/Getty Images